I am committed to ensuring that children have the best opportunities to develop the skills they need to be successful in life.
The Conservatives have a proud record of improving education in Birmingham and working to ensure the system works for the many and not just the privileged few. We have invested over £6 million in teaching disadvantaged children in Edgbaston over the last year alone via the Pupil Premium. Our approach has borne fruit with almost one in three Birmingham children on free school meals now going on to higher education. This is up 5 per cent from 2009/10 and well above the average in England of less than one in four. We have also invested in young people’s skills via the 4,650 new apprenticeships started in Edgbaston since 2010.
But there is still more to do. As your MP, I will be a tireless advocate of further spending on disadvantaged children in Birmingham and the closing the attainment gap between children from poorer and better off backgrounds. We need a fairer funding system for schools to ensure that where you are born does not affect the quality of education you receive. I welcomed the news that Theresa May is making this a priority by announcing in our manifesto that a Conservative government would distribute school funds more fairly. Crucially, the Prime Minister has also made clear that we will invest a further £4bn in schools to prevent any school losing as much as a penny from this change in the funding formula. You can see a video of me discussing this with Justine Greening, theEducation Secretary, here.
As a mother, I also strongly believe in the right of parents to choose how they wish to educate their children. That is why I am supporting Theresa May in encouraging free schools up and down the country. It is incredibly important for our diverse community in Edgbaston that parents can choose to educate their children at local faith schools. Whether you are Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Christian, I am committed to ensuring our education system works for you and for people of all faiths and none. Together, we can achieve this by providing choice in education.